I think over the years i’ve gotten used to my embedded devices doing as much ‘stuff’ as possible. Most of the devices i have at home are embedded and tweakable; i can change the firmware of my router, my NAS, my Raspberry 4, my sat/cable receiver, my beamer, my phone etc. They’re all basically the same devices, running ARM/MIPS linux with a package manager (or Android), and i can tweak them to my hearts content. The Nova is the only embedded device i have that is closed, and that is a pity.
I would have no problem with installing Samba and perhaps a separate UPNP server, and using the Nova as a fileserver. It would be super convenient i think. I currently only have a Raspberry with an SSD in the network to perform this task because the Nova doesn’t do it, although it technically could.
I’m personally not really in the “cpu usage affects sound quality” camp. I believe the effect is generally negligible (at least on a device like the Nova) and i much prefer my device to do as much as possible. As long as everything runs stable i think it’s fine.
I understand ofcourse that the Naim streamers are not marketed as tweakable devices like the ones i mentioned and that’s okay. But still, it’s a pity. I’ll dream on.